House authorizers block some OSD, SECNAV funding until DOD provides nuclear SLCM answers

By Aidan Quigley / September 1, 2021 at 3:45 PM

The House Armed Services Committee passed amendments to its version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would push the Defense Department to provide Congress more information about the Navy's nuclear sea-launched cruise missile development efforts.

House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee Ranking Member Michael Turner (R-OH) proposed the amendments.

One amendment limits the availability of some funds for the defense secretary until DOD submits an analysis of alternatives for the nuclear SLCM, while the other limits funding for the Navy secretary until Congress receives more information about the Navy's recommendation to defund the nuclear SLCM.

Acting Navy Secretary Tom Harker issued a fiscal guidance in June that called for the service to stop funding the development of the nuclear SLCM.

The Trump administration restarted the program in 2018 after the Obama administration retired the nuclear-armed Tomahawk missiles. Some Democrat lawmakers moved to block the nuclear SLCM development as Republican lawmakers have pushed to fund the program.

Turner’s amendment withholds 25% of the Navy secretary’s travel funding until the service submits “all written communications by personnel of the Department of Defense regarding the proposed budget amount or limitation for the nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile contained in the defense budget materials” to the congressional defense committees.

The other amendment blocks 25% of the travel for Office of the Secretary of Defense personnel other than the defense secretary and deputy defense secretary until DOD provides the congressional defense committees the analysis of alternatives for the nuclear SLCM and a briefing on that document.